‘5 Bridges’ Wins Competition to Stitch Portland Back Together

In many cities, freeways cut through the heart of urban centers like fresh wounds faded to old scars, but what if there were a way to reintegrate the disparate sides across the divide?

stitch portland five bridges

stitch portland swimming pool

The Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded first place to a particularly daring solution to this problem, one that proposes inhabitable fitness infrastructure to close the gap.

stitch portland climbing walls

Designed by Chadbourne & Doss, the scheme calls for cycling and running tracks, climbing walls, swimming pools and skate parks, all set to hover over the roadways below.

stitch portland skate park

Each section allows for existing traffic flows, working in and around them while mixing new programmatic layers into their midst.

stitch portland running track

The idea is to use these activities to join both sides but also simultaneously provide a series of iconic structures visible to (hopefully just the passengers of) fast-passing cars on the freeway as well.

stitch portland velodrome cycling

The shape of each, being uniquely suited to its purpose, creates a sequence of distinctly different architectural forms experienced in succession.